The Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication welcomes seven new tenure-track faculty members this academic year. Now settling into their first semester at CSUN, these seven fill essential roles in the departments of Art, Cinema and Television Arts, Communication Studies, and Theatre.
Shally Juarez (graphic design, UI/UX)
Shally Juarez is a Los Angeles–based designer and educator. With over seven years of experience at creative agencies in the Los Angeles area, she specializes in user experience and interaction design, teaching UX/UI and advance web design courses. As a faculty member she is determined to help students practice and apply universal design throughout their projects.
She earned her B.A. in Graphic Design at California State University, Northridge.
Aglaia Mortcheva (animation)
Aglaia Mortcheva is an animator, character designer, and illustrator. She started working as an animator for South Park (Comedy Central) and later as a character designer for The Rugrats, As Told by Ginger, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rocket Power, among others shows. While working for Klasky Csupo she received an Emmy award for character design (2005).
She has worked as a character designer on shows for Disney, Nickelodeon, Starz Entertainment, and FOX. She also lends her voice to Vendetta, the green villain from Nickelodeon’s Making Fiends. She produces short animated films, creates illustrations and character designs, works in visual development for ongoing projects, and continues to exhibit her artwork in galleries.
Mortcheva earned her MFA in Animation at UCLA School of Film and Television.
Cinema and Television Arts:
Paul Petschek (film/TV editing)
Paul Petschek has worked extensively as an editor in diverse locations throughout the United States and overseas. His portfolio includes studio pictures Waterworld and Flipper; collaborations with industry icons John G. Avildsen, Martin Scorsese, and Thelma Schoonmaker; and award-winning independent films such as 39 Pounds of Love, Most, and New York Street Games. His films have appeared in numerous festivals and have been nominated for Academy Awards in the U.S. and Israel. His work in television includes Chicken Soup for the Soul, Pat Croce Moving In, and Dr. Phil.
He is trained in Somatic Experiencing and Organic Intelligence, methodologies based on modern neuroscience with broad applications in healing as well as education, creative expression for artists, and enhanced narrative development.
Petschek earned his MFA in Filmmaking at Mount Saint Mary’s University and a B.A. with high honors in Film and Visual Arts from Harvard University. He is an Avid-Certified Instructor and a member of the Directors Guild of America, American Cinema Editors, Motion Picture Editors Guild, and Screen Actors Guild.
Kate Powers (screenwriting)
A WGA-nominated television writer, Kate Powers began her career as an intern on the first season of Mad Men. She went on to work as an assistant on The Good Wife, UnReal, and three seasons of Breaking Bad before joining the team on SundanceTV’s Rectify. After cowriting two episodes with executive producer Ray McKinnon, she returned as a staff writer for the Peabody Award–winning series’ last two seasons. She worked on the first season of Amazon’s Absentia, contributing two scripts (“Child’s Play” and “Dig”) and taught screenwriting workshops to BFA and MFA candidates at USC. Most recently, she served as a coproducer on a currently untitled dramatic series for AMC Networks.
Powers graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a double major in philosophy and English and earned an MFA in Screenwriting from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Christina Sibul (entertainment media management)
Christina Sibul is a high-level industry development/production consultant and producer who has worked with the best and brightest in the industry, including wrapping up a multiyear stint with Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films. Her credits include Sideways (Alexander Payne), House of Sand and Fog, Lords of Dogtown, and Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke). Her movies as a producer include Butter, the upcoming film Monica, starring Trace Lysette and Patricia Clarkson, and consulting on Paramount's On the Come Up.
Sibul is a graduate of Yale University.
Jaime Guzmán (communication, law, and policy)
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Jaime Guzmán is a communication scholar whose research investigates gentrification from a critical perspective which pays close attention to the ways race and class are used to expand the gentrification frontier on predominantly working-class neighborhoods of color. His current project explores the ongoing gentrification of the Latinx neighborhood of Boyle Heights. He argues that gentrification is best understood from a racial capitalist perspective which capitalizes on redlined neighborhoods of color to maximize profits at the expense of the eradicated barrio.
Jaime earned his Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a specialization in communication culture at the University of Denver. He previously received his M.A. and B.A. in Communication Studies with a specialization in rhetoric and social change from California State University, Los Angeles.
Stefani Overman-Tsai (theatre history)
Originally from California's Central Valley, Stefani Overman-Tsai specializes in theatre history, dramatic literature, Hawaiian theatre studies, Pacific literary theory, indigenous theatre, and postcolonial studies. Her current writing projects investigate plays written by native Hawaiian playwrights Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl and Alani Apio; the oldest theater company in Hawai'i, Honolulu Theatre for Youth; and hula dance dramas choreographed by San Francisco–based hula master Patrick Makuakāne. Overman-Tsai has published articles in The Hemingway Review, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, and Theatre Symposium. She is an experienced director with numerous credits who in 2015 cofounded LightBox Theatre Company in Turlock, Calif., serving as the managing and artistic director for this semi-professional theatre for young audiences.
Overman-Tsai earned her Ph.D. in Theater Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara (2015). She also earned an M.A. in English at California State University, Stanislaus (2016); an M.A. in Theatre Studies at California State University, Sacramento (2007); and a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Communications at Whittier College (2000).